The More Things Change


This is winter as I remember it.

When I was a kid growing up in Clifton Park, NY, winter began somewhere around mid-November (Thanksgiving at the latest).  It would have been cold for several weeks prior (often we had to wear coats over our Halloween costumes — bummer!), and then the snow arrived.  Rarely did it come in an unobtrusive way.   None of this skirling flakes and airy flurries.  BLAMMO!  The wind would out howl out of the northeast and dump (to a child) a veritable wealth of snow.  It was unusual to receive anything under a foot, and usually more.

That hasn’t been the case lately.  When I lived out in Portland, Oregon (better than 13 years ago), there was little snow to speak of, although the ice storms were things of terrifying magnificence.  Then we moved to Connecticut.  The first couple of winters, we got what I (a snow lover) would call a decent amount — a foot here and there, enough to whiten the ground for weeks and, best of all, a white Christmas.  The past few years has witnessed a decline in snow fall.  The last half-dozen Christmases have been brown or, worse, rainy.  Even this year, it was a dry, brown holiday . . . but on December 26 a blizzard roared in.  Although it left us with only 4-5″ of snow, it brought fantastic winds.  Since then, we’ve seen a return to the old days — another storm with 15″ of snow, a third with almost 6.”  There’s more to come.

I sometimes think I’m the only person in the state who enjoys snow.  Certainly, it seems I’m the only person “of a particular age,” who finds joy in it.  Everyone else seems miserable.  I can sympathize — I don’t like driving on bad roads or dealing with inattentive or down-right moronic drivers.  But, really — how can one NOT like snow?  I just don’t get it.  Even the kids out here seem disinterested in playing outside in winter.  I hear no shouts, no laughter, see no sleds or saucers or snowmen.  Methinks television and computers hold sway.  What a shame.

At any rate, this is winter as I recall and I shall embrace it for what it is and for what it brings.  All too soon it will be gone.  Warmth will seep back into the world and the rich, wonderful smell of wet earth and growing things.  We’ll shed our winter coats for lighter clothing and for a time we’ll enjoy ourselves…until it starts to get “too” warm, at which point those who care to complain will.

Unlike the weather, some things never change.

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About Melissa Crandall

Longer ago than I care to admit--although I will--I cut my writing teeth on fanzines and media tie-in novels. Since then, I've moved on to narrative nonfiction, speculative fiction, and essays. I write to explore and understand the world around me, the things I see and experience nearby or from a distance. If I shake myself up, cool. If I shake you up, even better. Not gratuitously--what's the point in that?--but to set what I know, or think I know, on end and realize, "Well, doesn't it look different from this side!" My work is neither sexually explicit nor graphically violent. Let's face it - your imaginations will come up with things far worse than anything I could write, no matter how descriptive. Besides, it's just not my thing. I live in Connecticut with my supportive husband Ed, a cat named Ruby who might just think she's a dog, and an epileptic Australian shepherd named Holly who isn't quite certain anymore who she is, except she knows she loves her mommy.
This entry was posted in Christmas, Connecticut, Essays, Holiday, Melissa Crandall, NY, Snow, winter, Writer, Writing and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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